Living Proof began its direct to consumer journey in 2017. Our goal was to build relationships with our customers through a rich, educational website. This strategy paid unexpected dividends when retail stores and salons closed during shelter-in-place orders. Our ecommerce sales more than doubled from mid-March through the end of May compared to the same period last year. Despite the sales spike, our website was able to function normally. We could continue focusing on what matters: educating new customers, delivering great products, and creating more content.


No bad hair days: keeping our flagship open for business

With more people at home, there’s been a shift in consumer spending patterns. They’re buying more products in the hygiene category, including our core product of dry shampoo. The closures of stores and salons meant that our online channels were the main way to purchase our products, so we knew that our website would receive more traffic. 

We consider our website to be the brand's flagship store. The website hosts quizzes, videos, and gifs to educate consumers about their products. We advise them on which products to purchase to solve hair care needs. The site’s visual elements create an engaging user experience, but can also slow website performance if it’s not on the right platform. 

Commerce Cloud, though, ensured that our content-rich website functioned normally. Thanks to the cloud, our website handled the unexpected spike in traffic — and scaled reliably without our intervention. The website did not crash or experience slower loading times. Keeping a steady performance was particularly critical for our mobile website, which accounted for the bulk of the sales during this time. 


Direct to consumer is more than sales

But our website is not just for sales. The goal of our website is to reach and introduce new customers to the brand. This is why we lean heavily into rich content for educational purposes. Our website is a means for prescribing a suite of products to solve the customer’s overarching hair care needs. 

In addition to the educational element, we look at the insights generated from our content to truly understand our customers’ hair concerns. For example, our hair care quiz allows us to figure out what people want and what the most popular combination of products and topics are. We use these insights to determine how to organize the Shop By Benefit page within our page navigation. 

Another advantage of having our own ecommerce website is the flexibility around product assortment. We can launch products faster and offer product exclusives. We can create bundles and kits in one-off programs that align with our influencer marketing, such as a bundle of an influencer’s favorite products. 


Preparing for more ecommerce sales

My company believed in the power of ecommerce as a sales channel in 2017, and we continue to believe in it. While we won’t likely see sales as high as we did in the past few months, we expect that our ecommerce sales will be higher than before the shelter-in-place orders. As a result, we’re investing more in our online capabilities to be prepared. 

One key area is building out an even better mobile experience. We want to streamline the mobile checkout process. We also have plans to create more content to better tell the brand’s story. In particular, we’re looking to unify our website experience with our social media experience since social media is a key source of traffic. 

Ecommerce changed our business for the better. By making it a priority, we were not only able to stay open when stores and salons closed, but keep our customers happy throughout it all. 

Want more hair-raising ideas? Check out our Leading Through Change blog series, which offers thought leadership, tips, and advice for retailers.